Supply Chain Compliance
Many of the business challenges and opportunities associated with farm animal welfare relate to companies’ supply chains. Companies have the ability to influence their suppliers’ performance both formally (e.g. through contracts, auditing processes) and informally (e.g. through capacity building and education).
- When we had a pork processing business, Cargill was the first in the industry to institute a policy of purchasing hogs in the United States only from farms that have been certified under the National Pork Producers Council’s Pork Quality Assurance Plus (PQA+) program, which includes strong animal welfare standards.
- Our turkey business in the United States runs programs to educate employees, truck drivers and first responders on animal handling in the case of emergencies.
- We are the only turkey producer in the United States to educate and certify all of our contract growers on how to properly handle birds. Our rigorous Animal Handler program and our on-farm audit program have been endorsed by animal science expert Dr. Michael Hulet of Penn State University.
- In Canada, Cargill conducts CowSignals training programs for dairy farmers to help them analyze environmental and health factors that affect their cows’ comfort, milk production and longevity. Since 2013, groups of local farmers have participated in more than 175 sessions including insights about topics ranging from stall spacing and animal bedding to hoof trimming and nutrition.”
- Our farm animal welfare policies are communicated to all employees and suppliers who handle farm animals in our supply chain. Cargill is held accountable for our farm animal welfare policies through internal and external third party audits.
- We also expect our suppliers to adhere to our high standards of animal welfare, and we recognize that we can influence our supplier’s performance via contracts. For example, the Cargill turkey business provides bird welfare training for all of our suppliers/producers.
- Eighty percent of the dairy cattle Cargill processed in North America are not subjected to tail docking. Cargill forecasts that this percentage will increase as applicable federal, state and provincial regulations, which are aligned with industry groups, move toward no tail docking. Additionally, 30 percent of the beef cattle that Cargill processes in North America and Australia are not subject to castration, tail docking or dehorning procedures.
- Currently, two percent of the broiler chickens processed by Cargill’s European business are free range, which is in keeping with our customers’ demand for this type of protein.
- To protect the health of Cargill’s broiler breeder chickens, they receive toe-trimming and/or beak trimming, which ensures the wellbeing and safety of the entire flock. This represents less than one percent of the total broiler chickens in our supply chain.
- For our U.S. egg business, our contracted supply originates from egg producers who follow United Egg Producers guidelines related to beak trimming and beak treatment. Therefore, layers that produce eggs for Cargill may, or may not, have trimmed or treated beaks. Beak trimming or treatment is done by trained personnel to prevent pecking and cannibalism among the birds.